Biography for Robyn Vickers-Willis

Robyn Vickers-Willis has a national reputation as a specialist in midlife psychological development with 30 years experience as a psychologist specialising in navigating transition.

Robyn is an outstanding speaker on a wide variety of topics associated with creating health, well being and authentic relationships with a focus on the importance of self-awareness and refined interpersonal skills for navigating work and personal life transitions. And as Robyn knows from her twelve years consulting on corporate change management, taking on board her understandings improves the bottom line.

Robyn brings to her talks credibility, outstanding communication skills with a record of really making a difference to the lives of those who come in contact with her and her work. For her talks Robyn draws on her wide ranging professional experience and her extensive writing and research on maintaining psychological health and well-being at times of transition. A passionate and engaging speaker, her presentations are always full of clear, easy to implement strategies for improving quality of life and personal and professional relationships, delivered with warmth and authenticity.

Her professional experience includes 12 years as an educational/child psychologist; then 12 years in private practice with her own consultancy specialising in corporate change management; followed by 8 years specialising in midlife development. Robyn has worked with a variety of legal, medical, educational and financial bodies and major corporate clients including BHP, Shell, North Limited, URS, Brambles and Australia Post.

Author of best-selling Navigating Midlife: women becoming themselves (2002) and Men Navigating Midlife (2004), her third book, Navigating the Empty Nest: re-creating relationships was released in July, 2008. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne titled Midlife Matters in Australia.

As a recognised national authority on midlife psychological development, Robyn has appeared on Channel 7’s Sunrise and Today Tonight and on a variety of national radio programs including the ABCs Life Matters. She has a regular spot discussing midlife matters on the SBS radio program World View. Articles on her work have been published in the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Herald Sun, Weekend Australian, General Practitioner’s Review, Law Institute Magazine, and a variety of other daily, weekly and monthly publications.

Suggested Topics


Midlife Matters at work – it’s not just about menopause and sports cars

Organisations need to understand how to engage the increased Emotional Intelligence and complexity of thinking offered by employees who have navigated midlife if they are to retain and benefit from these maturer employees.

Participants come away with an understanding of the benefits to individuals and organisations in acknowledging the gifts midlife development brings both to the individual and the work culture and how these gifts can be harnessed for the benefit of all.

Tables turning at midlife

At midlife we yearn for what we have neglected in the first half of our life and this can lead to much confusion and misunderstanding in relationships. Understanding why this is so and how to accommodate it leads to enriched relationships, both with oneself and with others.

Participants come away with a list of some typical differences between men’s and women’s midlife desires; how this can play out in everyday life; and ways relationships can be enriched by these changing circumstances.

Mental Health

Is the pursuit of happiness healthy?

There is much focus on the pursuit of happiness, yet depression is on the rise. Many need to break down a life time of conditioning and learn how to acknowledge and embrace all their feelings if they are to enjoy psychological health and well-being.

Participants come away with an understanding of why all our feelings are invaluable for psychological health; learn the steps to challenge any self-sabotaging beliefs limiting emotional growth; and awareness of the personal benefits in doing so.

Embracing ‘all at sea’ feelings to navigate waves of change

We are all being asked to navigate waves of constant change and it is normal to at times feel ‘all at sea’. Daily practices to assist in navigation to new beginnings without creating undue stress in either our self or others allows us to maintain psychological health and well-being during these turbulent times.

Participants come away having reflected on their response to significant changes happening in their own life; an understanding of the normal psychological response to change; and knowledge of daily practices to support themselves and others through waves of change.

Men’s Health

Men Navigating Midlife

Australian boys are conditioned to develop one side of their nature as they learn to be stoic, all knowing and in control of their feelings. At midlife, as their psyche encourages them to reclaim and then integrate the neglected ‘other half’, it is normal for men to experience a crisis in identity as their vulnerability and not knowing comes to the surface of their awareness. Understanding the normalcy of these experiences and learning how to embrace them leads men to a fuller sense of self and a rich second half of life, both personally and professionally.

Participants come away with greater awareness of parts of themselves repressed when young; daily practices for reclaiming and integrating this ‘lost half’; and why being able to do so enhances them both personally and professionally.


Creating resilient families and children

Parents need emotional intelligence, reflected in a range of interpersonal skills and a heightened level of self-awareness, if they are to create a resilient family with resilient children.

Parents come away with an understanding of the skills required for healthy emotional processing, how these skills enable them to create resilient children and a list of benefits for all family members in them creating their Emotional intelligence.

Creating rich relationships with adult children

New Australian research confirms that parents of young adults see a definite role continuing whether their kids are still at home or not. Parents need a range of interpersonal skills and a level of self-awareness to create appropriate personal boundaries if they are to reap the rewards of rich relationships with their young adult children while also enjoying much-deserved space (time and money) for their own life.

Participants come away with an understanding of the skills needed to create lovingly attached healthy relationships with their young adult children and a list of benefits for all family members in them doing so.

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